Boarding your dog is always a bit stressful, but you can lower your stress level by finding the right kennel. Here are six things to watch out for when choosing a kennel that's just right for boarding your dog.
Will My Dog Miss Me?
That's what most people wonder when they drop their dog off at a boarding kennel. How will Buster get along without me for the three days/week/month I'm gone?
In most cases, the answer is: just fine, thank you. There's no doubt that most dogs care a great deal about their owners, but, being the pragmatists that they are, they rarely spend their days moping when their owners aren't around. Instead, most, if not all, dogs quickly resume their regular habits, which, for most of them, consist primarily of sleeping.
How Important is Exercise?
It's amazing how much of every day dogs spend sleeping. So, do you really need a kennel with a large, fenced-in play area or the services of a personal walker who will exercise your dog while you're gone? Probably not.
That doesn't mean you shouldn't pay for such services, however. If it eases your conscience about leaving your dog for an extended period in a kennel, then by all means board your dog with an outfit that includes running and walking facilities. For stays of less than a week, however, save your money. Your dog will be no worse for wear for having to live in a 4' by 12' kennel for a few days.
Ask About Diet and Meds
There are other considerations, however. If your pup needs a specialdiet or meds, will the owners of the kennel feed them to him? Either way, are they feeding a good quality dog food?
Bring Your Vet Records
Reputable kennels will require that your dog is up to date on its vaccinations, particularly bordatela (kennel cough). Keep your dog's vet records handy in a folder that travels with them.
Check for Cleanliness
A good kennel is a clean kennel, period. Does the kennel pass the sniff test? All kennels have a distinct odor, and that odor is strongly dog-like. But if the kennel smells like feces or rotting something or other, take a pass.
Be Ready for a Big Reunion
Finally, although your pup probably won't miss you all that much when you leave, he'll be delighted to see you when you return. Most dogs don't fret when their owners are missing, but that doesn't mean they forget about them. On the contrary, they'll be wildly happy when you return. Be prepared with a big dose of affection and love.